Hardware & Aesthetics
The base hardware of a Pangolin Performance laptop is nothing to scoff about. System76 is already shipping the new Intel Ivy Bridge processors with their systems, which is great to see. Unfortunately, this system was purchased right before that happened. The laptop I am reviewing features:
2nd Generation Intel Core i5-2450M Processor (2.50GHz 3MB L3 Cache – 2 Cores plus Hyperthreading)
4 GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz
Intel High Definition Graphic
500 GB 7200 RPM SATA II
The chassis of the laptop is a gray plastic but it has an almost brushed metal look to it. It’s looks very nice. While it won’t win any awards for the thinnest/lightest laptop in the world, I didn’t find it to be too big and/or heavy. The build quality is solid, unlike the many cheap plastic Dell laptops I have used in the past. The laptop features all the ports you would need including 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, Ethernet, Headphone Jack, Microphone Jack, SD Reader; and HDMI and VGA display ports if you want to hook up your laptop to an external monitor.
What I love about this laptop is its keyboard. It has a chicklet style keyboard which makes typing a breeze.
The touchpad is spacious and is actually flush with the laptop chassis. I found that to be really cool. It will work well to keep oily gunk out of the corners of the touchpad, as there is no corners. Users will need to keep in mind, there is a microphone right next to the touchpad. You need to be sure you are not covering it up when you are using it. The mouse is one button, pressing the left and right sides for the corresponding mouse clicks. It took a little getting used to, as at first, I wasn’t hitting far enough to the left of the button.
The laptop features a 15.6″ 720p High Definition LED Backlit Display, with a resolution of 1366 x 768. The screen is glossy, which I don’t prefer, but it seems all laptop screens are glossy these days. As long as you do not have a window directly behind your screen causing glare, you should be fine. There are times were I found colors of the display to be a little dark or a little off. What I mean was I thought the display to have a little more blue in it when comparing it side-by-side with my Samsung monitor. I’m probably just being nit picky.
Like my Leopard Extreme desktop computer from System76, the Pangolin Performance laptop came pretty much ready to rock and roll. All that was reguired was to setup a user, password, location, language, keyboard, etc. Even the built in webcam was ready to go with Cheese. All set out of the box. Cheese was the only additional application I noticed that was installed, that isn’t in a typical Ubuntu install. The laptop does however have a utility in the system settings to install/reinstall drivers.
Despite not being a maxed out specs wise Pangolin Performance laptop, I thought it performed very well. For one thing, I think it boots faster than my Leopard Extreme desktop computer. I don’t know how that could be possible. Applications launched fairly quickly. In the 2 weeks of using the laptop, I got about 4 hours of battery life from moderate use. Mostly web browsing.
Overall, I was pleased with the Pangolin Peformance. I’m sure the owner of this laptop will be happy for years to come. System76 prices this laptop, in addition to all their systems, very competively. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal elsewhere. If you are an Ubuntu user in the market for a new laptop, I can recommend this one.
System76 has been manufacturing laptops, desktops, and servers, with Ubuntu preinstalled, since 2005. Their systems feature the highest quality materials and components. System76 thoroughly tests their systems to work flawlessly with Ubuntu, as well as, strives to provide leading support and superior customer service. You can find System76 online at:
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